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An Interview with Kelly Marie Carlin-McCall (Part Four)


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2017/03/22


An interview with Kelly Marie Carlin-McCall, B.A., M.A. She discusses: feelings around being bright, and in fact the smartest, and not doing well enough; magna cum laude for the B.A. and the M.A. in Jungian depth psychology; and going through counselling, the healing process, and the creative courage.

Keywords: creative courage, Jung, Kelly Marie Carlin-McCall.

An Interview with Kelly Marie Carlin-McCall, B.A., M.A.: Actress, Internet Radio Host, Monologist, Producer, and Writer (Part Four)[1],[2],[3],[4]

*Footnotes in & after the interview, & citation style listing after the interview.*

*This interview has been edited for clarity and readability.*

20. To go back to school, you were clinging to Miss Morgan in school. You were a very good student. Also, you had validation from Mrs. Dresser. She would bring you around and introduce you as one of the smartest kids. You deduced the smartest because she would bring the smart kids out, but you were the only kid brought out.



Another footnote to that is you only ever received one C. Based on the acknowledgements in the interview, and the narrative within the book, I see patterns and themes. We have a highly gifted and talented kid in a troubled surrounding.

So, likely more sensitive to surroundings, emotionally and experientially, and enduring Carlin craziness, but you ruined your SAT scores. Even knowing you were bright, even knowing you had good grades, the SATs were insufficient for Ivy schools. What were the feelings at that time?

Also, the year I was taking the SATs, my junior and senior year in high school, I was in a difficult emotional place. I had depression. I had anxiety. I had an abortion. I was in this abusive relationship with this boy. Taking those tests were hard, I am not good at taking those tests.

It was a blow. Also, I don’t think I could’ve handled going 3,000 miles away from my parents at the time. I wasn’t capable of it. So, it saved me from having to make the choice. Thank God, I got into UCLA. Even though, after two weeks at UCLA, I couldn’t handle it. I was emotionally unfit to handle it.

I didn’t know I was having anxiety and depression at that level. I didn’t know what those feelings were at the time. I felt crazy inside. I felt as though I couldn’t handle anything. I felt something was wrong with me. I had no idea how to ask for help because, on the outside, I wanted everyone to think I was fine and okay.

It was another big theme in my life, by saying, “I am fine. I am fine,” when they asked how I was doing. It was devastating. It made me feel behind all of my peers. I stayed behind because I didn’t go to college until I was 25. That set me up for the next 20 years thinking, “I am behind. I am behind.”

So, any sense of being smart, bright, and creative, and being the daughter of this very smart and creative man, and mom too, was non-existent. I felt as though I fucked it all up.

21. At UCLA, you did graduate magna cum laude with a B.A. in Communication Studies. As we’ve discussed at the start of the interview, you did earn your masters in Jungian depth psychology. Both are caveats to that description.

Yes, of course. However, I earned my B.A. at age 30. I was 8 years behind my peers, who were already in careers and doing big things in Hollywood. I was scraping myself out of a very insane 10 years of my life with Andrew.

I never doubted my book smarts. UCLA did help me. It helped my self-esteem. It provided the courage to leave Andrew. Creatively, who was what I wanted to be – an artist – in the world, I never gave myself a shot. I felt behind. I am a smart person. I knew that, but I had no courage. No creative courage, it took me more time to get.

It took more time to step into. It took the death of my mother to catalyze that. It took the death of my father, more recently, to do it more. I am writing a book about it now, which is about creative courage. How we get it, how we own it, and what happens when we start claiming our creative lives, I always knew I was clever and smart.

That wasn’t an issue. I didn’t have any cajones to put my ass on the line creatively. I regret that. I regretted it for years. I’m getting over it now only because I am living my creative life.

22. Going through the counselling, going through the therapy, and presenting your life in your material, is that part of the healing process for you? Is that allowing you to talk more about creative courage?

Yes, for sure, there was something about me needing to tell my story out loud, which was essential to completing some cycle around that. It was the period at the end of the sentence for me. Having been invisible and silent for my whole life, that was self-imposed in some ways. In some ways, it wasn’t. In others, it felt imposed upon me.

Feeling invisible and silent, to be seen and heard in my story, and to know I could tell it in an entertaining way, in a way people could relate to the universality of it, that I could, finally, say, “This is what I went through. This is what I was. This is who I am. This is what made me.” It has been huge.

The book came out in 2015, a little over a year ago. These things take time. Here I am, I am 53. My book came out when I was 52. Now, I am walking away from it all. I am walking away from my past, away from my story.

Not that I’m cutting it off, or being done with it. However, there’s something to being able to look forward, live in the present moment, and do the work that I am here to do now. I couldn’t fully do that work until I told this story. That might be true for some people. All art is ultimately telling our stories in different forms, in different frames, in different aspects, and with different transparencies.

Memoir is very transparent. A painting, maybe not so, but the artist is always there somewhere. I think we’re all looking to be seen, to say, “I matter. This happened to me. I did this.” To be able to sort through all of that, it is important to know who we are. “How did I get here?” is as much about “Who am I?” than anything else. So, it’s been very healing. Once again, not only going to graduate school and doing your own therapy…



…but telling your story. It is a powerful means of healing. The tricky part about writing memoir is you have to be, in some way, a teller and true witness to you story. It has to become a narrative. You can’t be stuck living inside of it because you’re still doing the healing part. I have done a lot of the healing part. I have done 90% of the healing.

I’ve done a lot of healing such as meditation, therapy, and other modalities. The final piece was to present it to the world, and to make it useful to the world. That was essential to my healing. I survived all of this. I am lucky. I came out on my own two feet with a sense of who I am and a love, and joy, of life. I want that for everyone on the planet.

If my story can help you work through your story in any way, and make you have a more joyful, fulfilling life, then it was worth every bit of suffering for me, for that to happen. That’s really the healing, ultimately. It is the healing we do for each other when we tell our stories because it helps us feel a lot less alone.

We all have these stories to tell. We have all lived through treacherous moments in our lives, great loss, stupidity, joy, and success. We need to share these stories because we connect with each other. The only way we’re going to get through the next 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 years on this planet is by connecting to each other as human beings.

Not ideologies, not profit motives, not how big our bank accounts are, but just humans-to-humans. When we tell our stories, that instantly happens. So, I am very honored to be a member of the tribe that tells the stories of the humans, and to have been able to tell my story.

Thank you for your time, Kelly.

Thank you, darling. It was lovely.

I appreciate that.


Carlin, K. (2015). A Carlin Home Companion: Growing Up with George. New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Actress; Internet Radio Host; Monologist; Producer; and Writer.

[2] Individual Publication Date: March 1, 2017 at; Full Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2017 at

[3] M.A., Jungian Depth Psychology, Pacifica Graduate Institute; B.A. (Magna Cum Laude), Communication Studies, University of California, Los Angeles.

[4] Photograph courtesy of Kelly Marie Carlin-McCall.


In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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